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Hattaway named THP dispatcher of the year

THP Captain R.C. Christian, Hattaway and THP Colonel Tracy Trott are shown at the THP awards ceremony.

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The Tennessee Highway Patrol named Tonya Hattaway of Smithville as the 2012 Dispatcher of the Year at a special award ceremony held Thursday evening in Murfreesboro.
Hattaway, who is assigned to the THP’s Cookeville District, earned the honor for an incident last February in which she helped find a woman who was thought to be harmful to herself and sent a trooper to the woman’s aide.
“Hattaway always goes the extra mile for the safety of her colleagues and the public. She strives to go above and beyond in every situation and lives have been saved because of it,” Colonel Tracy Trott said.
Hattaway earned the THP Dispatcher of the Year honor for preventing a possible suicide attempt in February 2012 after she received a call from a distressed woman who believed a loved one was traveling by car to Crossville with intentions of taking her own life.
Hattaway requested the troubled woman’s cell phone number and contacted her several times to establish her location.
Hattaway spent three hours trying to locate the woman.
Once she did, Hattaway dispatched a trooper to her location.
The trooper made contact and transported the woman to a hospital where she could receive help.
Hattaway was also instrumental in the arrest of a child predator in DeKalb County.
Hattaway and the trooper she was assisting looked beyond a “normal traffic stop” and determined the driver, who had a teenage girl with him, was wanted for child molestation in another county.
In addition to Hattaway’s statewide recognition, dispatchers in each of the THP’s districts received district Dispatcher of the Year honors.
“The THP dispatchers are unsung heroes, the ones who keep in constant contact with all troopers to help ensure their safety and the safety of the public,” Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons said. “They are an absolute vital part of the Highway Patrol and share the title of ‘Tennessee’s Finest,’” Gibbons said.


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